From the Wall Street Journal:
Rio De Janeiro will host 2016 Olympics, the International Olympic Committe announced, bringing the Olympic Games to South America for the first time and besting a Chicago bid that was strongly backed by President Obama.
Rio won in the third round, after Chicago was eliminated in the first round and Tokyo, earlier considered the weakest candidate, was eliminated in the second round.
Two hours after Mr. Obama brought his star power to Copenhagen Friday morning, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil pleaded with the IOC to embark on new territory and bring South America into the Olympic fold after more than a century of holding the Games in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. The Olympics have never taken place in Africa. There have been 30 Olympic Games in Europe, 12 in North America, five in Asia and two in Australia.
The IOC put on a good show as usual but the simple truth is the 2016 summer Olympics where always headed for Rio De Janeiro… it was purely political decision… South America never has hosted the Olympic games and no amount of star power was going change the IOCs desire to change that. Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid where simply pawns in the game of geopolitics.
Edit: I should add that regardless of the geopolitics at play here this is still a humiliating and politically damaging loss for President Obama. He invested time and the prestige of his office in trying to woo the international community on low priority item and came away empty handed… there’s no way else to spin it, it’s a loss. And worse still it’s a loss he could ill afford… particularly while our economy still struggling and the situation in Afghanistan is worsening.
Leadership Mr. President means focusing on the big issues not jetting off to Copenhagen to lobby for the Olympic games.